Asterion Management Team

The biographies of the new Asterion Management team are provided below:




Chief Scientific Officer and Director: Professor Richard Ross MD FRCP

Professor Ross is a Clinical Endocrinologist at Sheffield University and previously a Senior Lecturer at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He is Head of The Academic Unit for Endocrinology and Diabetes and Director of Sheffield Medical Innovation Centre. He has been a member of the editorial boards of 4 international endocrine journals, and served as an elected member of council for the Society for Endocrinology. He has extensive experience in both investigator led and pharmaceutically driven clinical trials and underwent a successful FDA audit as part of the original Pharmacia licence for growth hormone replacement in adults. He has acted as a consultant for most of the big pharmaceutical companies marketing growth hormone including: Pharmacia, Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Serono, Ferring and Ipsen and is currently a member of a Lilly International Advisory Board. His primary research interest is pituitary disease with a particular focus on hormone replacement. Professor Ross has published over a hundred peer-reviewed articles including recent publications in Nature Genetics, The Lancet, and PNAS.

Non-executive Director: Dr Peter Grant, PhD

Peter gained a Ph.D in Biochemistry from Cardiff University before embarking on his career in industry. He held research and development positions in Genzyme and Celltech before joining Enzymatix in 1988, his first start-up. He became head of R&D for Enzymatix and then a co-founder and director of Celsis in 1992 becoming Director of Business Development and Technology. During his time at Celsis, Peter was a member of the management and presentation team that floated Celsis on the LSE in 1993. The management team raised over £30M for Celsis before he left in 2002 and co-founded Biofusion plc, listing this on the AIM in 2005. Biofusion has since been renamed FusionIP and has exclusive agreements with Sheffield and Cardiff Universities to exploit University owned intellectual property. As a member of the Executive Management Team, Peter has raised £28M for Fusion and currently sits on 9 of its portfolio companies operating in sectors ranging from therapeutics and medical devices to power engineering and photonics. Peter’s role as Operations Director is to take an active position in the founding, funding and development of Fusion portfolio companies, normally as Chairman/NED, and to head the Pipeline team that manages and evaluates the Fusion Pipeline of projects generated by the two Universities.


Founding Scientist and Head of Molecular Design: Professor Peter Artymiuk MA, D.Phil

Professor Artymiuk is a protein crystallographer and bioinformaticist in the Krebs Institute Structural Studies Group, Department of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (MBB), Sheffield University. His laboratory works on both experimental and theoretical aspects of protein structure analysis:  (1) X-ray crystallography is used experimentally to determine protein structures and to study the relationship between structure and function in collaboration with microbiologists and biochemists; (2) Bioinformatics: in collaboration with colleagues in Department of Information Studies he has developed highly successful tools for analysis of 3-D macromolecular structures. Professor Artymiuk has held fellowships in Harvard and Oxford Universities. He has published >100 papers (including nine in Nature, Science or Cell) which have attracted more than 3600 citations.

Founding Scientist and Head of Biotechnology: Professor Jon Sayers BSc, PhD

Professor Sayers is a biochemist in Sheffield University Medical School. Appointed in 1995, he is head of the Academic Unit of Infection and Immunity. Previous contacts with industry have generated awards from the DTI (SMART Phase I and II with NBL Gene Sciences Ltd in the 1990s to develop the Quickstrand single stranded DNA preparation kit), and the widely used Amersham Sculptor Mutagenesis System. He has held a DTI-BBSRC LINK programme grant with Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and has extensive research experience ranging from chemical synthesis of anti-herpes drugs through protein characterisation and enzymology to molecular biology and bioinformatics.  Professor Sayers spent 5 years at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Goettingen, Germany under Professor Fritz Eckstein where he studied protein-DNA recognition and co-developed the Amersham Sculptor kit for site-directed mutagenesis. Professor Sayers has several patent applications and is currently a director of the Biochemical Society, representing 8000 scientists worldwide. He has published in journals such as Nature, Nature Structural Biology, Science, J. Am. Med. Assoc., FASEB J, EMBO J, PNAS and JBC.